Category Archives: Letters

Memorandum to the Chhattisgarh CM

To
Sh. Raman Singh,
The Chief Minister,
Chhattisgarh.

(Through the Resident Commissioner of Chhattisgarh Bhawan, New Delhi)

Dt. 22nd February, 2016
Sir,

The attack on Soni Sori is part of a larger campaign of State violence in Bastar; Under the guise of anti-Naxal operations, the security forces are indulging in rape and plunder. Teams of women activists have documented three cases of mass sexual violence in the past three months, where security forces have entered villages in Sukma and Bijapur- stripping women, conducting gangrapes, looting their food supplies, and destroying their homes and granaries. The number of “encounters” is increasing, people are “disappearing” from villages, only to show up in the list of “surrendered” or “arrested” Naxalites several days later as press clippings and testimonies recount. The local police and administration are talking in one voice of “clearing” the area within one year. Continue reading

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Resisting Caste & Patriarchy: Building Alliances – WSS National Seminar

NEW DELHI
10-11 DECEMBER 2015

Savitri Bai Phule, Jyotiba Phule, B R Ambedkar and ER Periyar were among the first to show how upper caste maintains its dominance through the structures of marriage and family to uphold Brahmanical hegemony and keep women in a subordinate position. The struggle against patriarchy and religious orthodoxy is yet to draw substantially from this legacy to redefine feminism in the Indian context.

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) would like to discuss what people’s movements and democratic movements, especially the women’s movement, have to say in relation to the “annihilation of caste” in the context of both work and vision in contemporary times. WSS invites you to this two-day seminar that will be addressed by activists, writers and academics.

Kindly keep yourselves free to attend this seminar as your participation is invaluable to us all in WSS, Delhi. We will send more details very soon.
In solidarity,
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression

Representation by WSS to the Justice Verma Commission

WSS notes with concern that the entire public debate arising out of the recent Delhi gang rape incident has centered round the issues of “enacting a strong law” and “prescribing harsher sentence.” It has failed to recognize more basic issues – the enormous social obstacles encountered in registering complaints, in the conduct of thorough investigation, in the protection of witnesses, in fast and efficacious prosecution and in unbiased adjudication – in other words, the issues of implementation of the law, and the functioning of the police and judicial machinery – which necessarily precede sentencing. The debate has also largely failed to take into account the deeply patriarchal character of our social institutions, and law enforcement machinery which render women vulnerable to violence in the family, in the larger community, in their work places and public places.

In particular, in this representation, WSS would like to focus on the even more serious situation that arises when patriarchal attitudes are reinforced by caste, communal and class inequalities or perpetrated by the state, that is, when sexual violence is inflicted as a part of an assault by a dominant community as in a caste attack or communal riot; or when sexual violence is inflicted on women in custody in a police lock-up or jail or state institution; and when sexual violence is perpetrated by the police, security forces or army. Rapes occur daily in this country and adivasi, dalit, working class women, women with disability, hijras, kothis and sex workers are especially targeted based on the knowledge that the system will not support them when they file complaints of rape. In this regard we have prepared a set of recommendations that you can read here

WSS Condemns the Violence & Vigilantism by AAP Against Ugandan Women

Addressing the Chief Minister of Delhi, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), strongly condemned the racial profiling, sexual violence and vigilantism by AAP against the Ugandan women and have demanded Somnath Bharti’s resignation; judicial probe to identify the perpetrators of the violence & punitive, lawful action against them; and compensation for the Ugandian women among other demands.

To,
Shri Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister, Govt. of Delhi

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression strongly condemns the illegal raid conducted by the AAP cabinet law minister, Somnath Bharti and his mob of supporters, on the premises of the Ugandan women on 17th January 2014 residing in Khidki village, New Delhi.
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Letter to CBI Demanding Action on Non-Filing of Charges of Gang Rape

The following letter was submitted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the 11th of October 2013, demanding action in the incidents of looting, arson, and violence, on 9-10th October 2007 on the Pardhi community in Multai, in Betul, Madhya Pradesh. The letter demands that necessary steps on the statements of the ten affected Pardhi women who were gang raped be taken and rape charges be filed against the accused persons so that trials for the same can take place in the court of law; and that the CBI take cognizance of offence against the officers of the administration and police, as well as against the concerned politicians, of abetment, conspiracy, omission of duty and active participation, and for further investigation thereafter.

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Letter to NCPCR regarding Rape of Minor in Ranchi

The following letter to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) brings to attaention reports of the rape of a school-going minor girl in Arki, Khunti district, Jharkhand, by an SPO (Special Police Officer), several other policemen, and CRPF men, through 2012 up to mid-2013. It urges the Commission to undertake a larger fact finding on the safety of school-going children, especially young girls, in Khunti District highlighting the vulnerability of children in these conflict areas. Several instances of violation of child rights in several parts of Jharkhand as part of anti-naxal operations have occured. In December 2010, in a case brought to its attention by WSS, where three minor girls in the same district were arrested  for being ‘dangerous Naxals’ and treated as adults and sent to police custody, NCPCR’s intervention had led to their release in early January 2011.
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Letter Demanding the Release of Madhuri Krishnaswami, Senoir Activist of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS)

A letter was sent to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan demanding the release of Madhuri from JADS and a withdrawal of all charges being pressed by Health department staff against her and others from JADS. This arrest has been carried out in context of an earlier protest by JADS, carried due to the inhuman conditions in which an adivasi woman, Baniya Bai was forced to deliver at the roadside in public, since delivery care had been denied to her by the nearby Menimata PHC in Barwani district in November 2008. An independent enquiry into the entire incident related to Baniya Bai at Menimata PHC was also demanded along with prompt and effective action to improve maternal health services in Barwani district and other districts of Madhya Pradesh, to ensure that such denial of basic health rights and human rights is not repeated in future.

We are shocked and distressed to know that Ms. Madhuri, a leading organiser of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS) has been arrested in Barwani on 16th May 2013. This arrest has been carried out in context of an earlier protest by JADS, carried due to the inhuman conditions in which an adivasi woman, Baniya Bai was forced to deliver at the roadside in public, since delivery care had been denied to her by the nearby Menimata PHC in Barwani district in November 2008. Some of us have met Baniya Bai and her family, and have documented from them directly the details of the event and the denial.
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